Over the weekend, James Blake put on a special performance during his appearance at the FORM Arcosanti Festival in Arizona. Rather than having a full band aside him, Blake performed his first-ever solo piano show. During his set, Blake gave the audience in attendance a special treat as he play his own rendition of Frank Ocean's "Godspeed"—a song he helped arrange and produce.
Following his performance, The FADER shared a rare interview with the songwriter where he spoke about working with Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and working on new music of his own.
We recently learned that Blake received production credit on Kendrick Lamar's latest album DAMN. for his contribution to "ELEMENT." Blake revealed that he had been sending Lamar "a bunch of music and I was just hoping that he’d listen to it." Thankfully he did, and parts of Blake's chords were used for the track. "I think that that was not the most organic way, sending music to someone by internet and it ends up in a tune," Blake admits. "But I just knew that I could trust them with my music because they have a flawless record of production, that unit that Kendrick works with."
Blake has mentioned before how the way Frank Ocean writes and works has influenced his own music, now saying that Ocean's process is "something remarkable that I have learned a lot from." Perhaps, the influence has grown to inspire even more music from Blake as he revealed plans to release new music within the coming summer months.
"I have some new music, and I am going to release some of it this summer. I’ve just been making tunes." However he admits he's not sure if he has a project, or just a few singles. "I’m writing as much as I can. I’ve been producing hip-hop things but I can’t talk about those yet—they’re collaborative productions and beats. It’s this constant balancing act between all the things that I like doing and that couldn’t be more ideal to be able to do producing, making my own music, piano shows, and shows with Ben and Rob. This [solo piano show] was the last of many pieces of the puzzle."
Read his full interview with The FADER here.